How to prepare for a buy-side internship

Phew. Finals are over! "School's Out" by Alice Waters is blaring from some room down the hall whose occupant thinks he's way funnier than he actually is. Isn't he an English major? Whatever, you've got more important things to worry about, like your upcoming summer internship!

Whether you mastered your technical interview skills with the WSO Prep Guide, or you're Lloyd Blankfien's illegitimate love child, you managed to get an internship this summer with a prestigious investment management firm. Now you just have to kick back and wait for day numero uno to get here, right?

Child, please. If you want to be the best you've got to prepare like the best.
And that leads us to an interesting question: What is the best way to prepare for a buy-side internship?

Without outside learning most undergraduate students are woefully ill-equipped for buy-side internships. But most employers recognize this and will recommend some outside reading. For example, to prepare for my upcoming internship with a technical analysis heavy fund I was sent some books the PM liked and thought would help me hit the ground running.

But not all PM's are created equal, so what should those unlucky individuals left to prepare on their own do?

Well, even though you probably already did this before your interview, it bears repeating: understand the firm's strategy to the best of your ability. From here it will be easier to find information that will prepare you for your specific fund.

For specific examples of books, I turn it over to you guys. What books/other resources would you recommend to aspiring monkey's to prepare for a buy-side internship?

Comments (20)

 
May 17, 2012 - 9:53am

Alice Cooper, not Alice Waters

"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." -F. Scott Fitzgerald
 
May 17, 2012 - 11:47am

YO, Alice Waters? come on, she wrote about organic food and stuff. Alice COOPER sang angry horror rock.

Any way, check out www.quewey.com - they seem to have a nice user base of senior PE professionals answering questions about stuff (I think they might be friends with the founding team)

 
May 17, 2012 - 12:44pm

CASEY6:
YO, Alice Waters? come on, she wrote about organic food and stuff. Alice COOPER sang angry horror rock.

Any way, check out www.quewey.com - they seem to have a nice user base of senior PE professionals answering questions about stuff (I think they might be friends with the founding team)

Yeah, rookie mistake calling Alice Cooper Alice Waters.

 
May 17, 2012 - 3:18pm

ER buy-side internship, no clue what i'm doing (Originally Posted: 06/27/2008)

i'm currently a rising junior at a non-target. It looks like I'll begin a ER internship, and basically the guy asked if I know how to look at a balance sheet, income statement, etc, do some financial modeling (i'm not sure why he asked since its ER), npv, irr, and stuff like that.
I didn't lie, as I did take some intro classes, so that's exactly what I said. I told him I am familiar with them somewhat since I took some courses.

Is there a website or any books that I can cram or have like a crash course session w/ a textbook that you guys recommend? I'm really nervous that when given these tasks, I wouldn't know where to start.

 
May 17, 2012 - 3:19pm

Although I'm no expert in this area (I'm sure there are others on this board who can provide a deeper insight into this), check out Damodaran's website. You can google this and his name should pop out.

As to why he asked those questions to you, financial modeling is part of ER -- I did a small ER internship as well.

Check out that site. Hope that helps.

 
May 17, 2012 - 3:22pm

I agree with Mlamb. The yellow WSP accounting refresher is helpful. SCOOP books Guide to Investment Banking is also helpful but expensive ($100). Go to your library and get a financial statement analysis book. Financial modeling is used in ER by the way to update earnings and operating trends.

 
May 17, 2012 - 3:23pm

One of my favorites is Analysis for Financial Management by Higgins. It was a textbook for one of my finance classes and I loved it. It covers a ton of the basics, goes over most of the major ideas (npv, irr, cost of capital, all the important ratios, etc). Easy to read presents things clearly and logically. Good pick up.

 
May 17, 2012 - 3:25pm
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